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Getting Enough Sleep Makes Safety Better for Seniors at Home

Senior Home Safety in Bristol CT

Senior Home Safety What happens when you don’t get enough sleep at night? Some people claim that they can get along just fine on three or four hours of sleep a night, mostly because they have been doing it for years. However, research consistently shows that even though people can function well enough during the day following only a few hours of sleep a night, they are not functioning at optimal levels.

For seniors, safety can be directly affected when they are not sleeping comfortably or enough at home. There are many factors that can affect a person’s ability to sleep throughout the night. Stress, caffeine, certain prescription medications, health issues, and more can all have a direct impact on one’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

It’s absolutely essential that people get into REM sleep, which is the most recuperative form of sleep. It is also the level of sleep where dreams occur. Anything that interferes with the body’s circadian rhythm is going to make it more difficult for the individual to fall into that deeper level of sleep.

Too much light, too much heat inside the house, dry conditions, stress and anxiety, and much more can all impact circadian rhythm.

If an elderly individual is not getting enough sleep at night, it will show in certain areas of their life during the day. Most significantly, they will be fatigued, may have less focus, memory related problems, and other challenges to get through the day. They may sleep more frequently during the day, but only for very short periods of time.

If you have an elderly loved one who is struggling with his or her sleep, look to some other habits and behaviors to try and help them find the right solution. For example, if your aging father has a tendency to drink coffee in the late afternoon and evening hours, that caffeine can take up to eight hours to completely leave his system. Even though he may have been doing this most of his life, the caffeine is still going to be affecting his body’s ability to relax, unwind, and get ready for sleep.

Also, some television programs may negatively impact a person’s ability to relax and unwind. Reading a book is a much better activity for the hour or two before the senior is planning to go to sleep.

If you suspect that some of the prescription medications he’s taking is causing sleep difficulties, encourage him to consult his doctor to find out if there is a better solution available.

http://nihseniorhealth.gov/sleepandaging/aboutsleep/01.html
https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/aging-and-sleep
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/do-seniors-need-less-sleep

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Bristol, CT, or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Bristol at 860-597-3924.

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Valerie VanBooven RN BSN

Editor in Chief at Approved Senior Network
Valerie is a Registered Nurse and long-term care expert. She has published 4 books on caring for aging adults and is the Editor in Chief of HomeCareDaily.com and ApprovedSeniorNetwork.com
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